Heather Reeder Named Chagrin Valley Rotary Club Teacher of the Year


Heather Reeder with CFIS Principal Curtis Howell

Chagrin Falls Schools teacher Heather Reeder was awarded the 2021-22 Chagrin Valley Rotary Club Teacher of the Year award after nearly 30 years teaching in the Chagrin Falls School District.

Reeder had an affinity for working with children at a young age as a babysitter and day camp counselor. She was surrounded by education as her mother was a preschool teacher and her father trained employees in his field.

“There was no other choice for me,” said Reeder.

She attended Bowling Green State University where she double majored in early childhood education and elementary education. She later earned her Master’s Degree and reading endorsement from John Carroll. After her graduation in the early 90s, she began substitute teaching locally and became a long-term sub for a fifth-grade class at CFEVS. She was later hired as a full-time fifth-grade teacher in 1993.

Reeder started teaching fifth grade, was moved to the fourth grade for five years, taught third graders at Gurney Elementary School for nine years and kindergarten for 10 years. She‘s enjoyed every age she has taught over the years.

When the district needed Intermediate School teachers in 2018, Reeder volunteered to teach fourth graders and is still in that classroom today. There, she teaches math, science, social studies, and English language arts (ELA).

“I loved everything I have taught, but I have a real passion for reading and writing,” said Reeder.

Curtis Howell, principal for Chagrin Falls Intermediate School, nominated Reeder for the Teacher of the Year award. Following the nomination was an interview with Rotary Club members.

Reeder said as part of the interview process, she had to write a resume, requiring her to look back at her years of teaching and committee work. “There were a lot of memories,” said Reeder. “My daughter is taking a great business class at the high school this year and helped me update my resume. A few things have changed since 1992.”

She was invited to a celebratory breakfast where she received a plaque naming her Teacher of the Year and a plate with her name on it to be displayed by the Chagrin Falls Board of Education.Reeder said she was excited to receive the honor. “I teach with such amazing people; it’s a privilege to be chosen,” she said.

Reeder moved to Chagrin Falls at a young age and is now raising her two children, Charlie and Caroline, in the village along with her husband, Chris. She enjoys spending time with her family- including her two dogs, crafting, playing paddle and volleyball. Her popular 2010 book, Chagrin Falls Our Village Letter by Letter, was recently updated and republished as a “10 year +1 Anniversary Edition.”

After the pandemic resulted in a hybrid classroom model, Reeder is very glad to have students back in person. “I missed seeing their smiles!”

Her oldest students are now in their late 30s and she has had some of their children in her classes. Reeder said the kids are her favorite part of the job and she loves finding out what they are up to after leaving her classroom. “Catching up with a student from years ago is one of the most gratifying experiences. It fills me with pure joy.”

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News